Reviews for Crafts And Culture of a Medieval Town

Library Media Connection - August/September 2007
The authors begin each book with a general overview of medieval culture concentrating upon the development of the particular topic and examining the daily life of the people. Projects in each title are coordinated to enhance the reader's understanding of an aspect of the culture and each is introduced by a two-page examination of the topic. The illustrated directions for the projects are clear and easy to follow, using inexpensive and easily acquired materials. Because Web sites often change by the time a book is published, the publisher maintains a link that offers relevant sites. This series is a good addition to any school library to increase interest in the Middle Ages. The writing is clear and direct. The illustrations are taken from manuscript illustrations or other relevant sources. Although I have not seen the other books in this series, these examples suggest that they belong in both school and public libraries. Bibliography. Glossary. Timeline. Index. Recommended. Charlotte Decker, Librarian, Children's Learning Center, Public Library of Cincinnati (Ohio) and Hamilton County © 2007 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 April

Gr 4-8-- Jovinelly and Netelkos have established a successful formula for presenting history to young people. Opening with a discussion of the culture, they go on to describe subjects such as life in a monastery, working in a scriptorium, and a monk's diet, and include a craft for each one; e.g., "Education in Medieval Europe" features a full spread on making a hornbook. The texts are specific, with facts clearly articulated. Color images support the projects so readers can relate pretzels, prayer beads, or a plague mask to the culture that produced them. The directions for these rather sophisticated crafts are broad and lack specifics such as quantities or colors and, in the case of the illuminated manuscript, the authors suggest that readers use a goose quill and look at other books for ideas on the topic. Also, the projects are not listed in the indexes. Still, these books will satisfy homework assignments. If students are seeking only crafts, they might have an easier time following the directions in Laurie M. Carlson's Days of Knights and Damsels: An Activity Guide (Chicago Review, 2003). The strength of these books is in the history that accompanies the projects.--Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library

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